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Public Health Program

Leadership Program

The mission of the Public Health Program at Santa Clara University is to “educate leaders for a healthier world”. As faculty, and as an institution, we believe we must go beyond simply guiding our students in the acquisition of knowledge and technical skills. We must cultivate critical thinking, lifelong learning, and habits of mind that will allow our students to truly develop as leaders while engaging contemporary issues of health, equity, and justice. To this end, we have created the Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP).


The Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP) is an annual program partnering SCU Public Health students with local medical and public health leaders for fellowship, dialogue, and experiential learning. PHLP will seek to:

  • Develop leadership skills among Public Health students, while deepening the commitment to effective and ethical leadership for social change among current and future public health professionals;
  • Provide public health students with deep and relevant experiential learning opportunities through mentored internships, while providing local public health organizations with skilled interns to further their missions; and
  • Build an employment pipeline for SCU students by expanding their professional network and opportunities, while strengthening partnerships between SCU and the surrounding community.

What will the program entail?

  1. Seminars - The program is organized as a series of six Aspen-style facilitated seminars in which the participants take deep dives into questions that are both pragmatic and profound: What do healthy communities and societies look like, and what kinds of leaders are needed to help build them? Each seminar revolves around provocative readings from diverse sources. Seminars may include invited guests as well. These dialogues stimulate the intellectual, spiritual, and professional development of students and participating public health leaders in a supportive shared learning environment. During each meeting, participants also share an informal meal and network.

  2. Internship placements - A central PHLP component is the placement of students at local organizations for summer internships (paid for by SCU). During this 8 to 10-week internship, students observe and practice leadership in action, while working on projects guided by their mentor and staff at their host organization.

Who will be participating?

PHLP pairs eight students (per annual cohort) with eight highly accomplished local public health leaders. Student participants will be highly motivated Public Health majors or minors in their junior year. Each year’s PHLP cohort will be selected during the winter quarter, and the program will start in spring quarter. Public health leaders will be from organizations in the South Bay region. Together, we will create a powerful experiential “launching pad” for our students to become future leaders and change-makers!

What is the time commitment?

Participants will be expected to attend six three-hour seminars held monthly from April through November 2019. Seminars will typically be scheduled for one Friday afternoon in April, May, October, and November. During the summer, there will be one combined full-day seminar, as well as a day of site visits (optional for mentors). Participants will also be expected to read assigned readings (approximately 1 hour) before each seminar and to be prepared for discussion. Additional time meeting with each mentee will be determined by the mentor. While each student will be placed in an internship at the mentor’s organization, the mentor is not necessarily expected to directly supervise the student in their internship duties; other staff may take on this role.

Internship Information

  1. Students will typically work a minimum of 30 hours per week for 8 weeks during the summer months, with the specific work schedule to be designed with the host organization.
  2. Students will receive a stipend of $5000.
  3. Students must be SCU juniors when accepted and planning to return for their senior year in Fall 2019. Priority will be given to Public Health majors and minors, but any student with a strong interest in community health can apply.

Applications were due Monday, February 11th at 5 pm

Questions? Contact Caitlin Lollis directly at or 408.554.5422.

Selected applicants will be notified by mid-March of their acceptance and their internship organization.

Note that stipends may be considered income and subject to applicable taxes by the IRS. Stipends will be issued in two equal payments of $2500.


Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice